A Powerful Tool for Skin-Related Neglected Tropical Diseases
The World Health Organization (WHO) is delighted to announce the release of an upgraded version of its Skin NTDs App, a valuable resource tailored to support frontline healthcare professionals in the diagnosis and management of skin-related neglected tropical diseases (skin NTDs).
A User-Friendly Upgrade
For a seamless installation, users may need to remove the previous version from their devices.
This remarkable development stems from a collaborative initiative between WHO and Until No Leprosy Remains (NLR). NLR graciously transferred the content of its SkinApp, which encompassed information on skin NTDs, 24 common skin diseases, and some HIV-related skin conditions, to the WHO Skin NTDs App.
This partnership has culminated in a comprehensive and user-friendly resource that aligns with the latest WHO recommendations.
Key Features of the Enhanced App
The updated App boasts several key features:
Logical, Offline Algorithm
The App operates offline and utilizes a logical algorithm to assist health workers in making precise diagnoses and treatment decisions.
The App is currently available in both English and French, with plans to explore translations into other languages, including Portuguese and Spanish, to cater to diverse communities.
The App houses a dedicated “Skin NTDs Learning” section, offering valuable training materials for frontline health workers. This content is drawn from the WHO manual titled “Recognizing Neglected Tropical Diseases through Changes on the Skin: A Training Guide for Front-line Health Workers.”
Cutting-edge AI Integration (Beta)
In addition to the public version, WHO is collaborating with Universal Doctor and Belle.ai to develop a beta version of the App. This version incorporates two online artificial intelligence (AI)–based algorithms capable of instantly classifying photos of skin lesions.
Field tests are planned in selected countries to assess the usability and performance of these AI algorithms in real-world conditions. While AI holds the potential to significantly enhance healthcare and global medical practices, its positive impact hinges on adhering to ethical and human rights principles throughout its development, implementation, and utilization.
A Leap Forward in Skin NTD Management
Dr. José Postigo, a Medical Officer in the WHO Global Neglected Tropical Diseases Programme specializing in skin NTDs, elucidated,
“This software application will swiftly equip healthcare professionals with practical information about a specific disease, encompassing its clinical characteristics, treatment protocols, and geographic prevalence. Accessing the interactive menu and a few simple clicks suffice to aid healthcare workers in identifying the most common skin conditions.”
Advancing the Fight Against NTDs
Dr. Kingsley Asiedu, Team Leader for Skin NTDs at the WHO Global Neglected Tropical Diseases Programme, emphasized,
“The WHO Skin NTDs App signifies a significant stride in combating NTDs that affect the skin. By equipping health workers with a robust and easily accessible tool, WHO aims to enhance early detection, streamline treatment, and ultimately enhance the lives of individuals afflicted by these diseases.”
WHO encourages all users to download the App, share it within their networks, and provide valuable feedback to facilitate ongoing improvements. Together, we can empower frontline health workers with the knowledge and resources necessary to effectively combat skin NTDs.
More information is available at Skin NTDs.